I'm so excited to share this interview with the incredible Meredith Rom! Meredith and I connected on Instagram, and she's a major light in the world of women's spirituality and leadership. Her programs help women live an abundant life full of vision, heart, and courage. She hosts a wonderful podcast called Rising Women Leaders, and she's leading her first international yoga retreat to Bali in 2016!
During this interview, she shares how she made her shift from working at a corporate job in NYC to living in California and working with women around the world. I love her story of self-healing and bravery, and how she's now integrating all parts of her life into her business. So many women making career shifts wonder how they'll eventually pull all parts of themselves into their businesses (myself included), and it is beautiful to see her love of design and typography really shine in all of her work.
Meredith is such an inspiration for creative women to live with heart, courage, and to move beyond our fear into our feminine power. I hope you enjoy her delicious words!
10 years ago, how would you have imagined your life right now? How is your reality different now?
10 years ago I imagined I would be working in New York City at a fashion magazine as an art director or in the photography department. I grew up in New York and was always drawn to the imagery and typography of magazines. I studied graphic design and photography at NYU and even did an internship at Vanity Fair. Over time, going down that path I saw that it didn’t fully line up with what I wanted. I saw I couldn’t work at a desk and computer for 40+ hours a week because I developed pain in my body, the stress levels were quite high and there was always a feeling of ‘climbing up the ladder’ that didn’t appeal to me.
Now as a yoga instructor and women’s leadership coach, I mostly work from home or in yoga studios. I spend less time on the computer and more time out in nature. I live in Sonoma County in a cottage (very different than NYC) and I often find myself in women’s circles.
However, I see how my love of beauty, design and typography is coming back into my work. I’m sharing a feeling of elegance and sophistication through instagram posts, e-books, and my online programs. It’s been a great joy to see how I can merge my love of spreading consciousness with elements of design and beautiful imagery.
What inspired you to start your own business? What was your greatest fear getting started?
I was inspired to start my business through healing myself. When I was living in New York working at desk jobs I had chronic pain, jaw tension, headaches, and struggled with hormonal imbalance and acne. I see now how all of those challenges led me into a career and lifestyle that is now in alignment with my purpose.
Every step of the way I felt called to share what I learned and to serve others. I started through teaching yoga, then writing blog posts, and now I work with women one-on-one and in groups.
I had fears to face at each phase, but I allowed myself to be guided by my fears, knowing that would take me closer to my purpose. I was mostly afraid of using my voice, speaking up and being seen. I’ve been able to ease into more confidence through facing those fears, one small step at a time. I started with blogging, then teleclasses, and now conducting my podcast interviews and giving speeches. Receiving support from mentors and being held in sisterhood were key elements that helped me develop more courage to face those fears.
What is your greatest hope?
My greatest hope is to see women fall in love with themselves and let go of fear holding them back from manifesting their dream reality. My dream is to see women looking for love within, rather than outside. My greatest hope through sharing the tools of yoga, meditation and coaching, is for women to develop an unwavering love within themselves, a connection to their intuition and their body’s wisdom, and to be able to take courageous action to live and lead from their heart. My hope is that all women can have the courage to find their voice and speak their truth - to follow what lights them up and do what they love everyday.
How does your intuition influence your creativity?
Intuition is essential to my creativity. I have a daily meditation practice where I receive all my best ideas. Anytime I don’t know what to do, that is where I turn. I find this space first thing in the morning, listening to my breath, through pranayama, and also through singing with my harmonium. I keep a journal next to me because sometimes I feel so inspired I just need to write down all the ideas that come.
I also create goddess collages in a completely intuitive process. I flip through a stack of magazines and never know what I will find. When I drop into a place of intuition, I find myself creating with ‘no-mind’, and the results always surprise me.
What do you enjoy most about your work with women?
It’s always really wonderful when I see a breakthrough or transformation happen. I love when I encourage a woman to face her fear, and to see how proud and excited she is when she comes back to tell me she did it. I also love being with women when they tap into their emotions and really feel what they are going through. It is so powerful to hold space for someone coming to their own realizations and listening to their own wisdom.
What has influenced your work the most?
Life experience. I am consistently using the world and situations around me as a learning opportunity. When I learn a lesson, I make sure to share it with my friends, my yoga students, and my online readers. I believe we spiritually progress by being in the world and fully engaging with life. That means embracing the challenges, the hardships and facing our fears. Every time I go through something hard, there’s always a lesson in it, something I can share with others. I turn any hardships into a gem for someone else by sharing it. I share what I learned and how I overcame it, and allow it to be a learning opportunity for both myself and others.
Who are your favorite role models and inspirations?
Two women who have really stood out to me in the last few years are Erica Jago and Kimber Simpkins - two powerful yoga teachers that I have studied with. What I like most about them is their vulnerability and willingness to share their full selves.
They have also both published a book and given amazing speeches. It’s been a huge inspiration to me as I finish writing a book myself and prepare to give more talks and travel as a teacher.
I have interviewed both of them for my podcast, Rising Women Leaders, if you’d like to learn more about them there.
If your future self were to give one piece of advice, what would it be?
To trust you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Everything is unfolding organically, at it’s natural rate. You don’t need to try to push anything to happen faster than it is supposed to. Trust in the process. It’s okay to be exactly where you are.
10 years from now, what do you hope to be doing?
I think my life will be very similar to how I live my life today, just expanded.
I will continue leading an international retreat for Rising Women Leaders (my first one will be in Bali May 2016!), I will work with women one-on-one and in online group programs. I will travel to teach yoga and give talks. I will have several published books. I will strengthen my voice as a kirtan singer, public speaker and performer. I will live in community on land, where I imagine there will be yurts and a wooden dome where I can lead workshops, community events, and retreats. I may also be married with a child. My life will be overflowing with abundance, friendship andlove. <3
Thank you for this space to share!